Author Topic: Justification by Faith  (Read 73430 times)

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Richard Myers

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Re: Justification by Faith
« Reply #40 on: April 14, 2001, 09:07:00 AM »
Brother James and Brother Harry, we must continue to bring the truth of what is being taught to the front. We do not want to be misunderstood. None are saved by keeping the law. Brother James, we have said this many times. Obedience to the known law of God is the fruit of abiding in Christ. It is by His love being revealed through the channel of sinful man that the world will know that we are His disciples. If you kill, if you steal, if you lie, you will bring reproach upon Christ.

Brother Harry,  in our sins, we do not have any assurance of salvation, only of condemnation. The law condemns us and the Holy Spirit reveals this. Jesus came to remove this condemnation, and this is our hope and promise. If we sin, we have this confidence, that Jesus will cleanse us from our unrighteousness. This is where Brother James fails to consider the rest of the Scripture and the rest of the Spirit of Prophecy.

Those who have learned to depend upon Christ for power to overcome, need not be fearful, for they know their need of Christ continually. It is those who do not know they need Jesus continually that need to be fearful. Many believe they are saved in their sins and this can be a fatal misconception. Brother James continues to sin knowingly and he believes he is in right standing with God. If he will continue to come to Jesus, asking for wisdom and grace, he will learn of the power of God's grace to cleanse from all known sin.

One of great lies of Satan is the teaching of Roman's seven as the Christian experience. This is not so and it is a stumbling block to many as it is to Brother James.  Roman's seven is not difficult to rightly understand. It does not contradict the rest of Paul's teaching as many would have it do. Paul kept the flesh under subjection and he could do all things through Christ who strengthened him.  Paul did not know that Jesus was his Saviour in Romans seven, as clearly seen in verse 24, "O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?" Paul was speaking of a time before he was converted when he began to realize he was under the condemnation of the broken law. At that time, he believed Jesus to be an imposter. Paul later found out "who" would deilver him, Jesus.  This topic is fully discussed in the Romans seven thread.

May God grant us grace to come into unity on this the foundation of our faith. Happy Sabbath to all.  :)
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of His Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Harry Elliott

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Re: Justification by Faith
« Reply #41 on: April 14, 2001, 08:12:00 PM »
Hi Richard--

The reason I asked that question was your statement that “ you cannot continue in your belief that a Christian will kill, steal, etc.”

That “etc.” includes all other sins, right?  Even the “respectable” ones?

Don’t you believe Christians sin? I take your statement about what happens “if” Christians sin to mean “when” Christians sin. Am I wrong?

--Harry


Richard Myers

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Re: Justification by Faith
« Reply #42 on: April 14, 2001, 08:26:00 PM »
My brother Harry, it is not conclusive that you will keep sinning. God's grace has power to keep you from sinning. If we say "when" we sin, the implication is that God cannot keep us from sinning. I recognize that we see things differently, and this is why I pray for an extra measure of the Spirit that we may come into unity.  Again, the issue is clearly seen in that the fruit of salvation is obedience. I recognize that in the last 50 years there has been a great change within the church in this regards. There are now many voices that are teaching contrary to this. But, the church has not changed the teaching. It has allowed false teachers to preach from her pulpits the contrary gospel and we are now reaping what has been sown.

We see in the seminary a division and it ought not be so. Two gospels are contrary to Biblical principle. There is only one gospel and Paul has very strong words in regards to those who bring a false gospel into the church. We are not confused over the matter and we will continue to stand for the truth as it is in Jesus. We know of the power that we speak of. It is the greatest miracle that Christ can do. Yes, it is rather amazing and to some it seems impossible, but we ought not measure the Bible by our experience, but rather by what it says. Baptism represents  true conversion. There is a dying of self and a living unto Christ. We are new creatures in Christ Jesus and we can indeed do all things through Christ who strengthens us.  :)
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of His Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Richard Myers

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Re: Justification by Faith
« Reply #43 on: April 17, 2001, 04:45:00 AM »
Brother James, when you begin down the path of saying the prophet was wrong in her early experience, you will be disappointed. Here we have a statement made in 1887, just as the Latter Rain was beginning to come. "One presumptuous act, one deed in disregard of God's expressed will, lost for Adam his beautiful Eden home, and opened the floodgates of iniquity and woe upon our world; and yet men will declare that God is not particular, and does not require perfect obedience to his law. The precepts of Jehovah are as unchangeable as his eternal throne. To excuse sin on the plea that God is lax in his government is dishonoring to the great Governor of the universe, and perilous to man. It is an attempt to belittle his requirements, and to take away the force of law. Those who advocate such doctrine, place themselves in harmony with the first great rebel, and however high their professions of religion, Christ pronounces them 'workers of iniquity.' They are saying to the sinner, 'It shall be well with thee in thy disobedience and transgression,' as said the arch-deceiver in the garden of Eden." Signs 12-15-87.

Please consider your doubts in regards to the Spirit of Prophecy and this most basic doctrine. We love you and want the best for you.
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of His Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Harry Elliott

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Re: Justification by Faith
« Reply #44 on: April 17, 2001, 09:48:00 AM »
James--

I think the majority opinion among our theologians is that Ellen White changed her position on righteousness by faith in 1888. Unfortunately, later compilations make no distinction between what she wrote before and after, so it's not always obvious.

--Harry


Allan F

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Re: Justification by Faith
« Reply #45 on: April 17, 2001, 01:45:00 PM »
When reading my Bible, I have found that there is a differense between coming to Jesus and coming to Heaven. You see, we can (and must) come to Jesus just as we are. But, we can not necessarily come to Heaven just as we are.

We have to get heaven into our heads before we can get our heads into heaven. To attain this, creation is needed. God created everything out of nothing. So also with us. A new birth is indeed a creation (and a rare experience), but many believe that to become a christian is more like an evolutionary process rather than a creation.

God is the great Creator. In the first two chapters of the Bible God is creating the earth. In the last two chapters God is creating a new earth. In the chapters between God is also creating. He is creating hearts:

"A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you... and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgements, and do them" (Ezek 36:26.27).

"According to your faith be it unto you" (Matt 9:29).

"Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me" (Psal 51:10).

"...purifying their hearts by faith" (Acts 15:9).


This is creation     :)


Allan F


Richard Myers

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Re: Justification by Faith
« Reply #46 on: April 17, 2001, 09:12:00 PM »
Amen, Brother Allan! The gospel has reached Norway!!  :)  It may have gotten their first by the looks of things on this side of the ocean.

It takes great faith to believe that Jesus can cleanse a wretch like me. This is "justification by faith".  

Richard

Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of His Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Harry Elliott

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Re: Justification by Faith
« Reply #47 on: April 18, 2001, 07:38:00 AM »
Richard--

You champion taking the Bible as it is written, and I applaud.  But should we do so selectively?

Paul knew the difference between past tense and present tense, didn’t he?  He finishes with the past in verse 13.  Then he describes what he SAYS is his PRSENT condition.  This isn’t the devil speaking, it’s Paul--in the Holy Scriptures.  

We can either submit to the Word and be corrected, as difficult as that process is, or we can attempt to correct scripture to fit what we have been taught.

Jesus will deliver us from our wretched bodies at glorification!

“I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord.  So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.”  Rom 7:25  ( KJV !)

That’s plain enough for even me to understand.  :)  

--Harry


sdboyd

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Re: Justification by Faith
« Reply #48 on: April 18, 2001, 08:00:00 AM »

"Don’t you believe Christians sin? I take your statement about what happens “if” Christians sin to mean “when” Christians sin. Am I wrong?" --Harry

"My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin.  And -if- anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous." 1Jn 2.1 NKJV

Harry, do you think I am wrong in applying this verse in answer to your question?

Steve


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Re: Justification by Faith
« Reply #49 on: April 18, 2001, 08:42:00 AM »
Thank you, Brother Steve. This verse says it all.  :)

Brother Harry, it is good to see our differences are real. Now we can begin to move forward in coming into unity. We all love Jesus and want to know the truth.

When I say we are to take the Bible as it reads, I mean in context. You are taking the last verse out of its context. Look at the very next verse (in the KJV). Then  put your verse into the context of what Paul is saying in the last three chapters AND the rest of the Bible.  To say that Paul cannot help but sin when he is abding in Christ is to undo the whole Bible. Paul is describing his conversion experience in Romans seven. He is telling us how he came to see himself under the condemnation of the broken law, BEFORE he knew Jesus. The verse you have just quoted is Paul telling us that in Christ he serves Jesus, but outside of Christ, he serves the flesh.  We have to set side most of the Bible to allow Paul to do the things that are against the law while in a converted condition. Christ does not sin. It is impossible to get bad fruit from a good tree.

We are getting into Romans seven and there is a whole topic to discuss this important subject. Join us there.  :)

Richard

Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of His Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

sdboyd

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Re: Justification by Faith
« Reply #50 on: April 18, 2001, 09:09:00 AM »
An interesting verse that describes Paul's experience and its relation to justification is found in 1Co 4.4:

"For I know of nothing against myself, yet I am not justified by this; but He who judges me is the Lord."

Paul seems to be saying, "I don't know of any particular in which I am living in opposition to God's law, but this does not make me righteous."  My point in this context is that Paul knew of no sin in his life, yet in no way depended on this perception for his righteousness.  His eyes and his faith were fixed on Jesus righteousness.  

Steve


R Myers

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Re: Justification by Faith
« Reply #51 on: April 18, 2001, 09:29:00 PM »
Amen.

sdboyd

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Re: Justification by Faith
« Reply #52 on: April 20, 2001, 07:45:00 AM »
Is Justification the same as being "born again" (Jn 3.3,5)? Can these two concepts be used interchangeably?

Steve


James Saptenno

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Re: Justification by Faith
« Reply #53 on: April 20, 2001, 08:51:00 AM »
Brother Richard.

As I have said that we both agree in how we are saved, but we disagrees in how to remain save. I have clarified my point that I remain save till the end only because of God’s grace, not because of my keeping the law or my performance. But from your view I understand that you remain save or retain your salvation by keeping the law or by your good works. Am I right?

This is a common view in the SDA. They say that “We are saved by God grace through faith, but if you did not obey the law you will die.” Other says that ‘ even though we are saved by God grace through faith, but if you are not perfect, you will not enter heaven.”

The bible teaches me that we are saved by God’s grace, a free gift. And that includes retaining this salvation once we accept it! “And if by grace, then it is no more of works; otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then it is no more grace; otherwise work is no more work.” – Romans 11:6.

Quote:
Brother James continues to sin knowingly and he believes he is in right standing with God. If he will continue to come to Jesus, asking for wisdom and grace, he will learn of the power of God's grace to cleanse from all known sin.
Unquote.

Brother Richard, because of the weakness of the flesh (Romans 8:3), we continually sinning before God (Romans 3:23). Don’t you realize this? Even you did not break the letter of the law, but you break the spirit of the law. All of us do! That makes you fall short of the glory of God and MUST DIE. If God still requires perfection and obedience to the law (not only the letter but also the spirit) as a requirement to enter heaven then no one will make it, and all will die.

That is why God did not requires this any longer, instead Christ did it for us, and by believing in Him, the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us as the result of our being “in Christ” trough faith (Romans 8:3,4; John 15:1-5). This is His grace!

Also because of His grace we are considered dead to the law (Romans 7:6; Galatians 2:19) and that makes sin have no longer dominion over us, because we are not under the law anymore (Romans 6:14) but under grace. How can the law condemn a “dead man”? How can sin have dominion over a dead body? “ For he that is dead is freed from sin.” – Romans 6:7.

But shall we sin because we are not under the law but under grace? God forbid! Romans 6:15.

That is clear, even we are not under the law and can not be condemned by the law if we sin (because we are dead to the law), we are not suppose to live in sin but to live for God! We are not allowed to use our liberty to live for the flesh but to serve one another in love (Romans 6:11; II Corinthians 5:15; Galatians 5:13). Because if we live for the flesh we shall die (Romans 8:13; Galatians 5:21) even though we are not under the law but “as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law” – Romans 2:12.

“There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus” – Romans 8:1.
This inspired statement is true! Through our faith we were put “in Christ” and “in Him” we find all what we need to enter heaven, i.e.; forgiveness of sins, redemption, righteousness, perfection, holiness, eternal life etc.

“I do not frustrate the grace of God; for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.” – Galatians 2:21.

In His love

James S.



James Saptenno

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Re: Justification by Faith
« Reply #54 on: April 20, 2001, 08:59:00 AM »
James--
I think the majority opinion among our theologians is that Ellen White changed her position on righteousness by faith in 1888. Unfortunately, later compilations make no distinction between what she wrote before and after, so it's not always obvious.

--Harry

It is true! That is why we must take what is good and not just accept everything of her is inspired. If she contradict the bible, we must not questions the bible because as she has said that her writings is just a lesser light compare to the bible and the bible only as the foundation of truth. But as the church keep publishing all her writings then we will see a dualism, and it is up to us to deal with it.

In His love

James S.


Richard Myers

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Re: Justification by Faith
« Reply #55 on: April 21, 2001, 09:14:00 AM »
Brother James, Happy Sabbath!

I do not believe we retain our justification by obedience. I believe we retain our justification by the grace of God which is imparted continually. Notice I said "imparted". When we cease to pray and look away from Jesus, we lose our justification because we no longer love Jesus with the whole heart. It is then that we sin. You see, my brother you misunderstood what I have been saying. We are saved by God's grace. Where we differ is that you do not believe that God can keep my daughter a virgin until she is married. Or a homo-sexual free from sin. Or, do you? Then if God can keep them pure, what is it He cannot do?  

Look at Romans 8:1 in the NIV and in the KJV and you will see the results of the "evangelicals" with their modern Bibles. What you have been saying calls for a change in Romans 8:1 The evangelicals did  it. They took away from the Word of God, just to make the point you have been trying to make, that man is saved in his sin. Many have been led astray by this one verse in a false bible.
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of His Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

sdboyd

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Re: Justification by Faith
« Reply #56 on: April 22, 2001, 07:20:00 AM »
Hello Harry and James,

I would not say that I am unaffected by the opinions of others, but I do strive to let them be no more than a minority voice when it comes to deciding things that have eternal consequences. In this context, your comments regarding EGW changing her position on righteousness by faith, God's messenger not being a reliable messenger, demand more than your expression of others opinions, or your own opinion, for support!

So my challenge for you both is, bring out the evidence in context.

James, on a different topic, you said, "Brother Richard, because of the weakness of the flesh (Romans 8:3), we [are]continually sinning before God (Romans 3:23)."

I would encourage you to include in your theology some texts that paint a bigger and brighter picture than the hopeless one you have painted.

This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.  Gal 5.16

Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him.  1Jn 3.6

Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. 2Pe 1.4

For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: 4 (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds  :P
5  Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; 2Co 10.3-5

Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. For he that is dead is freed from sin.
Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him…For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace. Ro 6.6-8,14

For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. Ro 8.3,4

The Saviour took upon Himself the infirmities of humanity and lived a sinless life, that men might have no fear that because of the weakness of human nature they could not overcome. Christ came to make us "partakers of the divine nature," and His life declares that humanity, combined with divinity, does not commit sin. {MH 180.5}
(By the way, the above statement was published in 1905.)

James, what do you do with the above thoughts? In light of the scripture quoted above, it seems to me that you would need to find an interpretation of Rom 3.23 that is in harmony with those quoted above.

God Bless,

Steve

[This message has been edited by sdboyd (edited 04-22-2001).]


sdboyd

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Re: Justification by Faith
« Reply #57 on: April 22, 2001, 07:44:00 AM »
Richard,

If the motives you attribute to modern translators were true, I would expect that all aspects of this doctrine would be smeared in the modern translations. You noted Romans 8.1 as evidence of the evangelicals getting their way. It is interesting to me that in the NIV this verse is a phrase with the sentence continued into the next verse. But the thought is not yet complete.  Paul hasn't yet reached the crescendo.  In my mind, he reaches that peak in verse 4 where it reads in the NIV, "in order that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met *in us*, who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit."

This is profound stuff, and certainly does not, in its context, provide support for the position you have advocated. Now I am not suggesting that the NIV is the best study Bible.  But I am saying that there are bigger battles to fight than this one. In fact, I don't believe that this is a "battle" for us to fight. I believe that we can safely leave God's Word in God's hands.

God Bless,

Steve


Allan F

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Re: Justification by Faith
« Reply #58 on: April 22, 2001, 02:36:00 PM »
Hello James
I appreciate the good spirit in your postings. I hope we can come into agreement on this important topic. One of the main differences between your teaching and the teaching of TRO is about in what degree we can keep the law. You seem to say that we can only keep the letter of the law. Let me qoute your words:

"Brother R, because of the weakness of the flesh (Romans 8:3), we continually sinning before God (Romans 3:23). Don’t you realize this? Even you did not break the letter of the law, but you break the spirit of the law."

I just want to remind you of the chapter prior to the one you use as an argument for saying that we always break the spirit of the law. In Romans chapter 2 we will find that some people are living according to the spirit of the law. And not only the circumcision (the jew) but also the uncircumcision (gentile) (v. 15, 26). I find it therefore quite clear that Paul is saying that it is possible to "keep the righteousness of the law". I can therefore not agree with you when you use the very next chapter as an argument to show that it is impossible to keep the law.

I beleive it is of vital importance that we keep not only the letter, but also the spirit of the law. In Matt 5 Jesus put the law directly into the heart. In Jesus time the jews was mainly keeping the letter of the law, and their leaders and "good" examples - the pharisees, had become the greatest standard of morality. But in verse 20 Jesus is really shaking the people: "Except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall not case enter into the kingdom of heaven." Then, in the next verses, Jesus is setting up the kind of righteousness he has in mind. We see that he is moving the law from the outside or from the letter, to the heart and the spirit. And he ends up with the most difficult command ever given: "Love thy enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;" Why? "That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven" (v. 44,45). To help people to live like this is the aim of the Gospel.

In the four gospels we do not often see Jesus making use of the expressions "Justification by faith" and "righteousness by faith". Instead he loved to use the expression "to save". This expressin He made use of at many different occasions. Both when he was healing people from their illnesses and also when he was talking about spiritual things. "To save" means to heal or to make whole. In the spiritually world this would imply both what Jesus does FOR us and IN us. As a good hebrew-thinking jew he looked at grace as one, wonderful free gift, with two aspects: The grace that does something FOR us and the grace that work IN us. But, 2000 years with greek dualistic thinking has influenced the christianity to divide/separate these two aspects of "grace" so much, that one of the aspects has become more important than the other. But a look into the hebrew sanctuary tells us that there was two items in the courtyard, which shows us that the two aspects of grace is a necessity in order to enter the tabernacle which is an antitype of heaven.

And as long as we are walking by the spirit, we are in a saving relationship. But "whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him" (1Jn 3:15).
You see, he is no longer walking by the spirit and he has none of the fruits of the spirit which are "love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness and temperance" (Gal 5:22,23). They are all gone.

Well. It is late now, so I have to sleep! But I would appreciate your (and others) comments on this. Let us not stop studying, but let us keep in mind that there was always incense on top of the shewbread in the tabernacle. A beautiful picture of combining prayer with Bible study    :)

Allan F


Richard Myers

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Re: Justification by Faith
« Reply #59 on: April 24, 2001, 07:24:00 AM »
Brother Steve, you are very perceptive. Yes, the following passage does indeed say what 8:1 said and yes, the new versions left it in.  You say, "If the motives you attribute to modern translators were true, I would     expect that all aspects of this doctrine would be smeared in the modern translations."

The devil is very intelligent. He has done well in just making changes here and there. You know that 90% of the people will not study as you have done and see what you did. They will read Romans 8:1 because the "teacher" told them we are saved in our sins,  and stop there, content with the "proof" of the one verse. Romans 8:1 is one of the most important texts to support the "evangelical" gospel. You hear it quoted extensively. Of course it is being quoted wrong. It is the NIV that is being quoted. The devil has succeeded greatly in just making a few critical changes. If he were to make too many changes too fast, he would lose his credibility. Remember the truth we have learned, a little bit of poison goes into much good food. This is what has been done with many of the newer "bibles". They have been changed at critical points and have had their success in leading people away from the truth.

I was an active proponent of the NIV at one time. I have repented. There are many others who are much better to present the case against the newer "bibles". I only know what the Holy Spirit showed me in regards to a couple of verses. Others have done much study into the matter and can give very good support to the premise I speak of.

Hope this helps. I don't think we have a topic on the subject. I suppose we ought to since it is important.

Richard

Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of His Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.